A professor of Christian history and the author of Fires of Faith, Eamon Duffy here explores the broad sweep of the English Reformation. Duffy traces the fraught history of religious change in Tudor England, and explains how the retellings of that history shaped a protestant national identity. The truth about the past is neither pure nor simple, notes Duffy, questioning prejudices and myths about the Reformation as he depicts the lived experience of Catholicism in an age of upheaval, from what it meant to be a Catholic in early Tudor England to the ways in which the "old religion" was remembered and spoken about in Shakespeare's time.
"There is something compelling and even thrilling about Duffy's combination of cutting-edge historical scholarship and effortless prose."—Independent (London)